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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)

TITLE: Sharpie
By Pam Ford Davis
04/28/10


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Elizabeth felt most comfortable with pen in hand. Her teachers commended her for fluency in compositions and conscientious attention to detail. An offer from a prestigious university in Connecticut could not be refused. The lure of N.Y. City would be attainable by commuting by train. A part time job in the literary field would keep her afloat, transforming her wildest dreams into reality.

“Hello, I’m Elizabeth King, inquiring about your opening in the proof-reading department. I have…”

“Sorry, Ms. King. The position has already been filled. Perhaps you would like to drop by and submit an application for our files. You never know, something else may be available in the future.”

“Thank you. I appreciate your time.”

What I’d really appreciate is a job.

Elizabeth continued to surf employment Internet sites. Opportunities in any area of writing or proof-reading looked bleak. Her resolve to not expand the search field began to falter.

I did work that summer at K-Mart. Guess, I could try retail .

Bold type caught her eye.

“TEMPORARY OPENING: A well established Advertising Agency is seeking an energetic copy writer. If you think out of the box and please our team of sales professionals, this could lead to a full time position. No phone calls or emails. Please apply in person, Monday-Friday from 9-5. Address: 377 East Beaumont, N.Y. City Suite 111.”

This could be it! It’s silly for a young woman to do cartwheels or somersaults, but the idea crossed her mind. Instead, she put a pinkie finger in each corner of her mouth and whistled. Her mother would rebuke her if she were present.

The mauve pant-suit she bought on a whim would impress potential employers. A splash of color drew attention, and yet the traditional style represented professionalism. She desired a long pampering bubble bath, but settled for a fast shower. A full length mirror revealed every detail: clothes, hair, and make-up. She passed rigid self-inspection.

Upon arrival at the add agency Elizabeth sat in a reception area among other prospective employees. Following completion of her standard job application form, she awaited a personal interview.

“Ms. King, the human resources department representative will see you now, straight down the hall, second door on your right.”

Nodding in recognition of instructions, Elizabeth confidently walked to the office and knocked politely.

“Come in.”

Immediate eye contact and warm smiles broke the ice.

“Ms….King, is that right?”

“Yes sir, Elizabeth King.”

“Drop the sir, just Rog and I’ll call you Lizzie. Okay?”

No one has called me Lizzie since Grand Dad.

“Okay, nice to meet you Rog.”

“Have a seat. We’ve gone over your application, and to be honest, we’re pretty impressed. Tell me more about yourself…”

To her surprise, the conversation felt more like an intimate talk with a school counselor. Her interviewer seemed to hold genuine interest in both her achievements and personal goals.

“Lizzie, welcome aboard! We’ll give you a good starting salary; I think this will meet your approval.”

She eyed his circled figure and smiled.

The door to the world of advertising opened and Elizabeth strode in, ready to create and inspire. From day one it seemed like the perfect match. Everyone at the firm found her worthy of praise, and in return she respected co-workers.

She mastered several consecutive client proposals. Upon graduation from college she anticipated a career in advertising, maybe even one day launching her own agency.

“Lizzie, meet B.J. Grayson, he has a job that’s right up your alley!”

Her hands felt clammy and knees went limp. Not thee B.J. Grayson!

“Hello,” said Mr. Grayson.

“Nice to meet you,” came out in a nervous whisper.

She stammered, “I’ve been an admirer of your work on Broadway for years.”

“Thanks, and it seems everyone here admires yours!”

Elizabeth blushed. They entered her office and discussed a big ad campaign for his upcoming play, opening next month at the Marquis. The cordial meeting blossomed week by week into full bloomed friendship. She felt a sense of loss at the completion of the assignment, but also enriched by the rewarding experience.

I hate Monday mornings. Elizabeth entered her office, flipped on the light and slung her purse on the desk. Will deal with mail later. First caffeine! The aroma of brewing coffee from the break room beckoned. Wish I were back in bed, better check voice mail...

“Hi, Lizzie. It’s B.J., sorry I missed you. Girl, quit your job! Grab a sharpie! You’re re-writing my next Broadway show! Call me!”


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This article has been read 560 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/30/10
This is a pleasurable read. I enjoyed seeing the MC fulfill her dreams.
Yvonne Blake 04/30/10
A dream come true! Well written.
Caitlyn Meissner05/02/10
This was a very well-written article. Good job.
Jan Ackerson 05/03/10
Love your title!

The story itself struck me as a bit unrealistic...I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall, or for some conflict to present itself.

But it left me feeling happy for your MC, for certain.